Finland is renowned for being the happiest country in the world, boasting the world’s top-notch educational system and having an environment with the cleanest air. However, it’s worth noting that this Nordic country is also considered one of the most expensive nations globally. This raises the question: can one truly afford to reside in the world’s happiest country? Well, let’s explore and investigate further to find out the answer.
In this article, we’ll delve into the details of the cost of living in Finland, examining the prices of everyday necessities like housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. Whether you’re a student considering studying abroad, an expat planning to move and work in Finland, or just curious about the country’s cost of living, this article will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the expenses you can expect to encounter in Finland.
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.
Living Expenses in Finland for Overseas Filipino Workers
The information presented in this article is based on a YouTube video from the channel IRENE T. This channel is owned by an OFW living with her family in Finland. In this video, they talk about cost of living in Finland, among other things. If you want to watch the full video, then click on the link below:
The vlogger first arrived in Finland back in 2015, during which time she was unmarried and living as a single person. In her most recent video, the vlogger has shared two lists of basic monthly expenses: one for a single individual and the other for a family.
Expenses as a Single Person Living in a Small City in Finland
Forssa is a charming small city located in the Southern part of Finland. Despite being a small city, Forssa has a lot to offer its residents and visitors alike. One of its biggest advantages is its relatively cheaper cost of living compared to larger cities like Helsinki. In Forssa, housing costs are much more affordable, with average rental prices being significantly lower than in the capital city. This means that residents of Forssa are able to enjoy a high quality of life without having to break the bank.
In addition to affordable housing, Forssa is home to several well-regarded educational institutions and a thriving job market. The city is known for its strong focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, which has led to the creation of many small businesses and startups. This has resulted in a diverse and dynamic local economy that provides a wide range of job opportunities for residents.
Aside from work and study, Forssa also offers plenty of opportunities for leisure and recreation. The city is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, including beautiful forests and lakes, which provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and camping. Additionally, Forssa is home to several cultural attractions, including museums, art galleries, and theaters.
During her single years, the vlogger resided in Forssa, a small Finnish city, and she lived a frugal lifestyle at that time. She reveals her basic monthly expenses in the video, which were kept to a minimum due to her thrifty habits. The vlogger was known for rarely going out, instead opting to stay home and focus on work. On occasion, she would travel, but always with a frugal mindset. Her former roommate can attest to her frugality.
The following is a list of the basic monthly expenses spent by the vlogger while living as a single person in a small city in Finland:
- Food expenses, which include groceries and toiletries such as detergent and toothpaste, can range from 150 to 300 euros per month.
- Rent for a two-person dwelling in Finland is around 460 euros per month, or approximately 230 euros per person.
- Electricity expenses are typically around 15 euros per month.
- Home insurance is an essential expense to consider, as it provides peace of mind in the event of accidents such as fire. Since apartments in Finland can be quite expensive, having home insurance is highly recommended. The average annual premium for home insurance is approximately 120 euros, which translates to roughly 10 euros per month. However, since two people are living in the household, the individual’s contribution is only 5 euros per month.
- The cost of internet services in Finland averages around 25 euros per month.
- Water expenses amount to approximately 25 euros per month.
In summary, the total basic monthly expenses for a single person living frugally in a small town like Forssa in Finland can amount to approximately 600 euros. However, a practical nurse in Finland can earn a net basic pay of 1,400 euros per month, excluding bonuses. After deducting the basic monthly expenses of 600 euros, this equates to a take-home pay of around 800 euros. In Philippine pesos, this would amount to approximately 47,200 per month.
Therefore, living frugally as a single individual in a small Finnish town like Forssa may be possible with a basic monthly income of 800 euros after expenses, as long as you prioritize your spending and manage your finances wisely.
Basic Monthly Expenses for a Family Living in Helsinki
Living as a family in Helsinki, the cost of basic monthly expenses can be quite high. The city has a high standard of living, and everything is expensive, nearly twice the cost of living in other areas of Finland. Here is a breakdown of their basic monthly expenses:
- Rent for their 80 square meter apartment is 1130 euros per month, which is higher than in smaller cities due to Helsinki’s high standard of living. The apartment already includes parking and water, which amounts to 20 euros per month per person for the fixed water bill. Living in Helsinki is more expensive than the rest of Finland, with prices nearly double the national average.
- Electricity costs 30 euros per month, which is a reasonable expense for their household.
- Home insurance is a necessity for peace of mind in the case of an accident. Their policy costs 364 euros per year, or 30 euros per month, for an 80 square meter apartment.
- Internet costs 60 euros per month for both family members, which is typical for a high-speed plan in Helsinki. They also pay an additional 20 euros per month for their TV internet.
- Life insurance is a must for the whole family, given the high cost of living and uncertain future. It costs them 233 euros per year, or 20 euros per month, for coverage.
- Their son has a separate health insurance policy for 37.5 euros per month, which ensures that he can receive medical care without incurring high costs.
- Two other family members pay 7 euros per month each for their health insurance, which provides additional coverage for unexpected medical expenses.
- For transportation, the family pays 470 euros per month for their car, which includes car insurance and road tax, totaling 905 euros per year or 75 euros per month. Having a car is a necessity for their family to get around the city and surrounding areas.
- Food and toiletries average around 600 euros per month, which is the typical cost for a family of their size. They don’t skimp on food and eat everything they want, but they do try to stick to a reasonable budget.
- Their child’s daycare costs 115 euros per month, which is a necessary expense as both parents work.
- Lastly, the mother pays 15 euros per month for her organization membership, which provides access to valuable resources and networking opportunities. She is currently on maternity leave, but when she returns to work, she will have to pay again.
After providing a detailed breakdown of their basic monthly expenses as a family living in Helsinki, the vlogger concludes that the total amount they spend each month is 2,816 euros. This amount is no small sum, and it highlights the fact that the cost of living in the capital city of Helsinki is significantly higher than in other parts of Finland.
However, the vlogger is quick to clarify that she is not an expert and that all the information she provided is based solely on her personal experience. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s situation is unique and what works for one family may not necessarily work for another.
In terms of income, the vlogger and her husband have a combined basic pay of 3,400 euros per month. It’s worth noting, however, that this amount does not include her husband’s overtime pay. After subtracting their total monthly expenses from their income, they are left with 583.5 euros. When converted to Philippine Pesos, this amount is equivalent to around 34,426.40 pesos.
Despite having some leftover income after paying their monthly bills, the vlogger cautions that this amount is not necessarily their savings. They love to indulge in food trips, and their children also have basic necessities that require additional expenses. It’s important to strike a balance between enjoying life and saving for the future.
Basic Monthly Expenses for a Family Living in a Small City in Finland
- Food and miscellaneous expenses – As a family living in Forssa, they allocate around 600 euros for their monthly food and miscellaneous expenses. This includes their grocery shopping, toiletries, and other necessary household items. They prioritize healthy food choices and they prefer to cook at home most of the time.
- Rent plus parking – Their apartment in Forssa costs 500 euros per month, which already includes parking.
- Water bill– The family pays 25 euros per month for their fixed water bill, which is calculated based on the number of people in their household. Since they are three in the family, they pay 75 euros in total for their water bill.
- Electricity bill – Their monthly electricity bill averages at 15 euros.
- Internet – They spend 30 euros per month for their internet subscription. This is essential for their work and for their child’s studies as well. They opted for a reliable internet service provider to ensure that they have a stable connection.
- Home insurance – For their peace of mind, the family pays 11 euros per month or 130 euros per year for their home insurance. This covers damages caused by fire, water leaks, and other unforeseen events.
- Health insurance for their child – Their child’s health insurance policy costs 37.5 euros per month or 450 euros per year. This covers their child’s medical needs and ensures that they have access to quality healthcare services.
- Daycare expenses – The family spends 150 euros per month for their child’s daycare. They chose a reputable daycare center that provides quality care and education for their child.
- Car expenses – They pay 400 euros per month for their car expenses, which includes gas, maintenance, and repairs. Their car is essential for their daily commute and for running errands.
- Car insurance and road tax – They pay 75 euros per month for their car insurance and road tax. This covers their car’s registration and insurance, as required by law.
- Organizational fee – The mother pays 30 euros per month for her organizational membership. This is a small amount that she willingly pays for the benefits and services she gets from the organization.
In the city of Forssa, the couple’s total monthly income, not including any bonuses, amounts to 2800 euros. After deducting their basic monthly expenses, which were previously itemized, they are left with a savings amount of 776.50 euros. This can be converted to approximately 45,813 Philippine pesos per month. However, it should be noted that this is just an estimate and not the actual amount that they save, as there may be other expenses and unforeseen circumstances that can affect their financial situation.
Living as a family in Helsinki is the most expensive option in Finland. Despite the country’s extreme weather conditions, cold climate, and long winter months, Finland has been named the happiest country in the world for four consecutive years. This could be attributed to the fact that Finland has natural beauty, and being surrounded by nature and getting out into it makes people feel happier. Additionally, Finland offers its citizens freedom, low crime levels, a high standard of living, high-quality education, and a good healthcare system, all contributing to the overall contentment and peace of mind of its people.
In conclusion, living expenses in Finland can vary greatly depending on the city or town you reside in. Helsinki, being the capital city, tends to have higher costs of living compared to smaller cities like Forssa. However, regardless of where you live in Finland, or if you work as a caregiver, a nurse or any other profession, it’s important to note that there are various ways to save money and cut expenses. It’s always a good idea to keep track of your spending and create a budget that works for you and your family. Additionally, taking advantage of public transportation, cooking at home, and comparing prices when shopping for groceries and other necessities can also help lower your monthly expenses.